CARICOM member Browne opposes WICB dissolution


Cracks in the CARICOM-led opposition to the West Indies Cricket Board have come out wide open with Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne categorically opposing the dissolution of the WICB. Browne is a member of the CARICOM’s sub-committee on cricket.

Last November, the CARICOM panel, appointed by the Prime Ministerial Committee on the Governance of West Indies Cricket, had called the WICB “antiquated” and suggested it be replaced by an interim board. However, Browne has said such a move would only push West Indies cricket into further turmoil.

“I categorically reject the call for the dissolution of the West Indies Cricket Board, and I do so in my capacity as chairman of the committee governing West Indies cricket,” Browne said in his address to mark the WICB’s 90th year of recognition by the ICC. “I believe firmly that to dissolve the board would be to plunge West Indies cricket into further chaos and confusion.”

Browne’s comments come less than a week after Grenada Prime Minister and head of CARICOM Keith Mitchell said the WICB and the territorial boards were resisting change, which in turn was hindering West Indies cricket’s growth. “The one thing that has remained constant over the years is the board’s rigid and antiquated structure,” Mitchell had said on May 25, while delivering the Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Lecture. “By now, the board should have learned that reshuffling its leadership without changing its thinking and structure is just as futile as adjusting its structure without reforming its leadership.”

Mitchell had also said that the WICB, just as it had done with previous governance reviews – the Patterson Report in 2007 and the Wilkins Report in 2012 – had rejected his committee’s report last year. “Although the WICB gave its solemn promise to four CARICOM prime ministers on July 20, 2015, that it would accept and implement the recommendations of the WICB/CARICOM Governance Committee, it reneged on its promise.”

Browne acknowledged governance could be an issue, but urged the WICB to be more transparent and accountable in dealing with the problems and conflicts, especially involving the players.

10.20 GMT The article had incorrectly mentioned Gaston Browne as chairman of CARICOM’s sub-committee on cricket